Palitana, located about 50 km from Bhavnagar, is a famous pilgrimage site for the Jains. There are around 863 temples, dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries, found in this city.
Attractions in Palitana
The 863 Jain temples, which were built in the 11th and 12th centuries, attract pilgrims from all over the country. As a matter of fact, Palitana in Bhavnagar is believed to be the most holy pilgrimage site for the Jains.
The most important temple in Palitana is devoted to Lord Adinath, who was the 1st tirthankara. To reach the temple, one has to climb about 3950 steps spread over an area of about 3.5 kilometers. History says that the city had been significant to the Gohil Rajput clan.
Though most of the temples are located on top of the Shatrunjaya hills, there are temples located elsewhere in the city as well. Jains believe that visiting this city would make a man eligible to get the status of "Bhavya", which means the stage of salvation or nirvana.
Apart from pilgrims, the city also allures a great number of tourists. Palitana houses 2 Jain museums, which are known as the Stapitya Kala Graha and the Shri Vishal Jain Kala Sansthan. These museums preserve manuscripts, book covers, palm leaf books, cloth paintings, ivory sculpture and paintings on ivory and figurines.
How to reach Palitana
One can reach Palitana by airways, railways and roadways. The closest airport to the city is Bhavnagar airport, which is about 50 kilometers from Palitana. There are regular flights from Bhavnagar to Mumbai. Ahmedabad, which is an international airport, is also located nearby. Even there are regular flights to Mumbai, Delhi and other important Indian cities from the airport of Baroda.
One can also reach Palitana by rail or road from Bhavnagar. To welcome tourists and pilgrims there are guesthouses, known as dharamsala, in Palitana.
Last Updated on 23 July 2012